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Matrix Clincher Rims - Bad Reputation?

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Matrix Clincher Rims - Bad Reputation?

Old 02-13-17, 10:31 PM
  #26  
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The only reputation I recall Matrix rim having is how hard it was to mount tires to some of them. I forget what models specifically but putting Conti top touring tires on some of those things was quite the task.
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Old 02-14-17, 06:36 AM
  #27  
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This thread is quite encouraging as I'd read some BMC on the Matrix rims elsewhere. I grabbed a Titan set outta my friends bone pile, back back in December, to try on my winter project Crescent. Decent looking but untrue and he was not going to invest the time and effort to try a rescue. Both needed hub overhauls and a few new cones. The rear was all wobbly but, after fully de-tensioning everything and starting over has come into true quite nicely. These are the gray ano box rims, mildly aero with eyelets. I'm looking forward to the ride. This will be the first 23c tired ride I've had in ages.

BTW the rear wheel (no tire, tube nor FW) weighs a bit more than a comparable tubular rimmed wheel - but only the weight of a QR scewer. I'll not be able to notice the difference.
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Old 02-14-17, 07:18 AM
  #28  
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I have come across quite a few good ISO rims. I have one that cracked by the nipple, in the garage. It came to me that way on a bike. I have no idea how or why, but I now check them very closely when I do find them on a bike I buy.
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Old 02-16-17, 10:03 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The Matrix rims were made by Trek. The extrusions were made by an outside company, but they were rolled, pinned, and drilled at the original Trek "old red barn" in downtown Waterloo, WI. and then hard-anodized off-site. They date from a time before rim tension specs were regularly published; for spoke counts above 32H, a tensiometer was generally not needed and wheelbuilders tensioned by "feel."


Thank you for this information. If I find out anything from Trek concerning spoke tension recommendation I'll post it here.
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Old 02-18-17, 04:58 PM
  #30  
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My tempo came with these matrix wheels....Iso rear,titianS front. Ordered 28c to try out. Rear tire went on easy. Front tire.....FREAKING BATTLE!!! At first I was thinking new tire toughness. Then read up on these rims and it was mentioned tough to get tire on. Not sure what I'd do if I got a flat out on the road. Soap on the rim and tire finally got the job done. Tires ride great btw.
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Old 02-18-17, 05:47 PM
  #31  
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Ok. It is not just me having trouble mounting tires on these things. I've got Titans that require tire levers. A while back, I had some Race Xtra Lites that were also a pain. Maybe it is a Trek/Wisconsin/Lawyer thing where they want to make sure the bead won't pop off? Anyway, what tire brand tends a little large that won't be such a bear? I don't want to wrestle with these things on my way to work.
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Old 02-18-17, 08:21 PM
  #32  
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I had a pair of Mt Titans from '93 on my mountain bike. They were super light and took the abuse. BUT...I hated flats. Several times I cut the tire off because I couldn't get it off the rim using normal methods.

One time I was in Mammoth during a race/festival. I went to at least half a dozen tire reps and said I'd buy their tire if they could get this one off. I didn't buy tires that trip.

Otherwise a great rim.
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Old 02-18-17, 09:11 PM
  #33  
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Early versions that are perfect true. Laced on 600 hubs. Anodized brake surface is scuffed away but no complaints. No issues mounting and using the Tufo tubular / clinchers. One of the best I've had for durability.



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Old 02-19-17, 07:31 AM
  #34  
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Looks like a Rudi saddle
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Old 02-19-17, 12:33 PM
  #35  
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^ Good eye, Robbie!
Fave saddle from RHM. Of course the never ending subjective of whats the best, etc. is tiring to read about. Its mostly about luck in what works for one, and this one delivers. Rudi's approach and the time he puts into a saddle is quite something. I'm most appreciative and especially on those perfect days can feel pretty good after 150 miles. Thats the best I could describe it.

The bike is an '82 era with lots of miles, chipped Dupont Imron paint but original. Note the duct tape on the chainstays

happy trails!
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Old 02-23-17, 09:25 AM
  #36  
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I have a set of Titans from the Trek 760 that are very nice. No probs so far. Love the tune you can put on those Sansin hubs. Wow.
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Old 03-03-17, 11:26 AM
  #37  
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Matrix Journey Clincher Rim - Spoke Tension Inquiry

Originally Posted by muysal View Post
Thank you for this information. If I find out anything from Trek concerning spoke tension recommendation I'll post it here.
Chat started on 03 Mar 2017, 04:39 PM (GMT+0)

(04:39:00) *** Visitor 74792041 joined the chat ***
(04:39:00) mike: I like to find out recommended spoke tension on Matrix Journey clincher rims which I believe were manufacture by Trek.
(04:39:09) *** Simone joined the chat ***
(04:39:20) Simone: Hey Mike.
(04:39:25) mike: Hi
(04:39:45) Simone: Matrix Journey rims weren't manufactured by us, sorry.
(04:39:58) Simone: What year or bike was it on?
(04:40:37) Simone: Only Bontrager rims are manufactured by us.
(04:40:48) mike: I'm using it on a vintage 84' steel frame. Bought it NOS from a local bike shop.
(04:41:08) Simone: Got it.
(04:41:47) Simone: Nothing affiliated with us.
(04:41:58) mike: BikeForum users claim it was manufactured during the 90's by Trek or a company Trek consulted with.
(04:43:21) Simone: Let me ask to triple check, one second please.
(04:45:31) Simone: Looks like we worked with them back then but they're a different supplier.
(04:45:48) Simone: Were an OE item for an older model.
(04:46:41) mike: how old?
(04:47:01) Simone: Early 80's model.
(04:47:31) mike: that's ancient like my bike
(04:47:40) Simone: :-)
(04:48:10) Simone: Trying to rebuild them?
(04:48:54) mike: I already did. Wanna make sure my spoke tension is not in the danger zone.
(04:49:19) mike: using 2.00 mm stainless steel spokes
(04:49:32) Simone: Got it.
(04:49:52) Simone: Had the shop take a look?
(0441) mike: no I haven't talked to them in a while. This was purchased about 3 years ago.
(04:51:16) Simone: Ok. We'd say 100 kgf which is industry standard.
(04:52:11) mike: ok that's helpful. Do you know the name of the company which manufactured these rims? Are they still in business?
(04:52:50) Simone: I think it was Matrix but not 100% sure, haven't been able to find anything on them.
(04:53:02) Simone: Only the rims for sale.
(04:54:05) mike: That's fair. Thanks. Is it possible to get a copy of this chat so I can post it on BikeForums?
(04:54:28) Simone: No problem at all.
(04:54:46) Simone: Are you able to copy it?
(04:56:11) mike: ok I sent the transcript to my address. Thank you for your assistance. You were very helpful. Bye :-)
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Old 03-03-17, 12:05 PM
  #38  
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Thousands of miles on 1988 matrix hubs/rim (trek 560) without issue but do repack the hubs every few thousand miles. Have a set of 1992 titan tour on lx hubs that have very little use but currently looking for a build.
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Old 03-03-17, 12:36 PM
  #39  
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Matrix Journey Clincher Rim Spoke Tension

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The Matrix rims were made by Trek. The extrusions were made by an outside company, but they were rolled, pinned, and drilled at the original Trek "old red barn" in downtown Waterloo, WI. and then hard-anodized off-site. They date from a time before rim tension specs were regularly published; for spoke counts above 32H, a tensiometer was generally not needed and wheelbuilders tensioned by "feel."

The dubious reputation of Matrix some people have mentioned probably dates back to the original "Iso" (as in "isosceles," referring to the cross-section shape of the extrusion) tubular tire rims. There was a batch with poor anodizing (lots of pitting) that may have led to this assessment (I have a bunch of these reject rims I use to stretch new tubular tires). Or perhaps because the Iso rims didn't have eyelets, and builders were expected to use rim washers under the nipples, but didn't always do so, leading to cracking at the spoke holes. That said, I've never had a problem with the Matrix rims I've built into wheels. But then I use the rim washers on the Iso rims and the eyeleted rims never had a problem in my experience.


I chatted with Trek and they could not confirm they manufactured this rim. I posted contents of the chat session on this thread earlier today. They made a reference to an outside company which may have manufactured the rim for one of their earlier model(s) from the 80's ! To my inquiry about recommended spoke tension they suggested the industry standard 100 kgf. My 36h rear wheel (DuraAce hub) on the drive side has an average spoke tension of 123.77 kgf. The left side has 71.74 kgf. I had no problem truing and dishing the wheel within the 10% limit according to Wheel Tension App from Park Tool Co. With that 123.77 kgf, am I risking rim-collapse ? Thank you for your comments
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Old 03-03-17, 02:13 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by muysal View Post
I chatted with Trek and they could not confirm they manufactured this rim...
There's a pretty good chance that @JohnDThompson, who chimed in above, is going to know 1980s Trek products better than Trek's customer service reps because John built them. The people answering Trek's phones today weren't building bikes (and wheels) in Waterloo, and may not have even been born yet. ;-)
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Old 03-03-17, 02:27 PM
  #41  
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+1 support for JohnDThompson when it comes to 80's Treks +

He got my attention several years ago when I was lamenting how easily Campy SR crown races broke. He mentioned that they had a drawer full of them at Trek! Don't remember if they were the broken ones or the replacement. I think it was replacements because I was wondering where the drawer is now, not to mention the content!
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Old 03-03-17, 04:15 PM
  #42  
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Back in the 80's I worked in one of the biggest NorCal Trek dealers at the time. We had several 5' stacks of ISO C rims in various hole patterns and tire types. We built at least a dozen pairs of wheels per week and rarely had any problems. The typical build was 32 holes, DT 15 ga spokes with aluminum nipples front and non drive, brass on drive side.
Just recently I have been using a set on my Mavic 501's, 28 front, 32 rear, DT Revolutions with full aluminum nipples. This set has among other rides, taken on 4 editions of Eroica with flying colors.
Needless to say, I have always like these rims.
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Old 03-04-17, 05:37 AM
  #43  
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Re: Trek/Matrix. This is America. A guy down the road is making and selling bikes. Another guy just down the road, making wheels, well, that makes sense.

Watertown, I believe, was on that road.
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Old 03-04-17, 03:21 PM
  #44  
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Matrix Journey Clincher Rim - spoke tension

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
The Matrix rims were made by Trek. The extrusions were made by an outside company, but they were rolled, pinned, and drilled at the original Trek "old red barn" in downtown Waterloo, WI. and then hard-anodized off-site. They date from a time before rim tension specs were regularly published; for spoke counts above 32H, a tensiometer was generally not needed and wheelbuilders tensioned by "feel."

The dubious reputation of Matrix some people have mentioned probably dates back to the original "Iso" (as in "isosceles," referring to the cross-section shape of the extrusion) tubular tire rims. There was a batch with poor anodizing (lots of pitting) that may have led to this assessment (I have a bunch of these reject rims I use to stretch new tubular tires). Or perhaps because the Iso rims didn't have eyelets, and builders were expected to use rim washers under the nipples, but didn't always do so, leading to cracking at the spoke holes. That said, I've never had a problem with the Matrix rims I've built into wheels. But then I use the rim washers on the Iso rims and the eyeleted rims never had a problem in my experience.
I contacted Trek not to second guess your information. I had no idea you worked for Trek, as another member noted. Concerning average spoke tension, judging by "feel" is a bit subjective for me and probably requires the knowledge & experience I don't have. I have somewhere around 123.7 kgf average tension on 2.00 mm SS spokes for the drive-side of rear wheel. 77 kgf for the left side. I like to know if 123 kgf is excessive since the Trek CS recommended the industry standard 100 kgf.
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Old 03-04-17, 05:01 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by muysal View Post
I contacted Trek not to second guess your information. I had no idea you worked for Trek, as another member noted.
No worries. I left Trek in 1986, and at that point rim production was done in Waterloo. It's entirely possible that they may have outsourced rim production at some point after I left, and as noted above, current employees may have little knowledge of what was being made in-house 30+ years ago.
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Old 06-08-17, 02:58 PM
  #46  
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Need Matrix 700c IsoC rim for 199O Trek 2300, front

Cracked my rim, not riding related, and want to replace with like rim. Many miles on these rims with absolutely no problem. Bought the bike new and the carbon aluminum combo has been flawless.
If you happen to have one of these rims lying around please email me:

Mod edit: Send the OP a Visitor Message.

Last edited by cb400bill; 06-08-17 at 08:14 PM. Reason: Removed Email for internet safety.
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Old 02-12-20, 09:44 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The Matrix rims were originally manufactured in the USA by Tru-America. While it would not surprise me if Trek off-loaded production of some or all of the line to a foreign manufacturer, I have no knowledge of it.

Personally, I have no extended experience riding Matrix rims, but I have not heard complaints from the many cyclists that do.
Great info T-Mar, as usual...even though it's a 15 year old post!
My '92 Crosscut came with these rims, and they have been flawless from the get-go.





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